GK Student Entrepreneurs To Get Their ‘Shark Tank’ Moment At Product Pitch Event
At 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14, what is normally the Genoa-Kingston High School Auditorium will become GK’s version of the ‘Shark Tank’ for 13 of its student entrepreneurs.
Students from business and technology teacher Ben Owen’s INCubatoredu business class will pitch the ideas and products they’ve been working on all year to community members and business professionals with the hopes of taking home a prize and gaining valuable feedback.
The small class consists of sophomores through seniors, and is an elective that’s now in its third year of being offered at GKHS. Here’s how it works: INCubatoredu uses a hands-on approach that mimics today’s start-up environments and gives students access to real-world business experience. At the start of the school year, students break out into groups and identify a problem within a market, then begin working to come up with an innovative and marketable solution.
They conduct extensive research, such as customer interviews, testing and experimentation, to validate the problem and their potential product. Then the entrepreneurs must learn how to market themselves via social media, product demos, websites and more.
Finally, the class culminates in the ‘Shark Tank’-like pitch night. There, attendees will learn about the new products — the Dust Finesser, The Farm Box and the Change Maker.
The event is open to the public and kicks-off with a networking reception at 6 p.m.
“The class is extremely important because, regardless of what a student’s future plans are, the class helps prepare them to be more successful,” Owen said. “Even if a student does not want to start their own business, the class teachers them valuable skills that will apply to college and careers as they move forward. The class is high intensity and pushes students out of their comfort zones making them more well-rounded and prepared to tackle their future endeavors.”
What’s more, “the class is also unique because students actually walk through the process; the hands-on approach allows for a deeper understanding and allows students to learn from mistakes,” Owen added.
In that way, the class also teaches the value in failure and persistence, particularly when it comes to running a business.
“Students learn the most when something does not go according to plan and they have to make a pivot in order to have a product that is seen as valuable by their customers.”